Sunday 5 March 2017

Another day, another meal.  As it says up there it is Sunday so what we have planned is a proper pub Sunday lunch – the Crown at Pantygelli is a little way up the valley from Abergavenny.  Whilst we are there at opening time the place soon fills up and we have the nice roast meal that we had hoped to have.

Being the weekend I had already established that the other main railway nearby was working – the Dean Forest Railway.  When doing my research I was a little surprised that both Brecon and the DFR were open and operating before Easter so this is a welcome bonus so early in the year.  The Dean Forest of course is actually a bit of a drive so we get moving immediately after lunch!

Again the line has been much extended as I seem to recall that the train ran out of the low level platform at Norchard when I last visited and then shuffled back and forth on the main line before running back into the same platform.

Passengers still mainly join the railway at Norchard which is in the middle of the line – there is passenger access at both ends but very limited parking whereas Norchard has a huge car park.

Now the railway has a platform at a higher level on the through line at Norchard and that line stretches between Lydney Junction (somewhere close to the National Rail line) alongside which there appears to have been ground clearance for a new development.  The other end of the line is Parkend which opened in 2006 and there are plans to extend further to Cinderford.  Wet and cold in the forest today.

Parkend is a beautiful little branch line terminus station for the end of the current railway and it has taken much work to bring it back to current standard.  From Norchard to Parkend the line is largely running in the forest and it is possible to take the railway one way and walk back and there are walks around the forest.

Photos of the railway are here.

We miss out on the Perrygrove Railway which I had not realised was also in this area, although we drive right by it.  And may well not have been operating.

Our return journey is via Symonds Yat (well a very small diversion).  However it is getting towards the end of the afternoon and it is not very warm so we do not park and walk to the view.  The area is heavily wooded and so we cannot see any views.